Why Iran cannot be contained
Washington Post, Danielle PletkaIran is proceeding with an aggressive nuclear weapons program, and a few dogged holdouts notwithstanding, much of the Obama administration has come to terms with that reality. Official Washington has resigned itself to pursuing a containment policy that some argue will limit Iran's ability to proliferate, terrorize and otherwise exploit being a nuclear power. But it is wrong to think a nuclear Iran can be contained.
Washington Post's Danielle Pletka tells us that Iran is proceeding with an aggressive nuclear weapons program. Although some refuse to acknowledge this fact, the Obama administration has, in fact.
Official Washington continues to ponder ways in which Iran can be appeased, put off, contained, and otherwise kept out of the way of doing real middle east and global harm. But Pletka tells us why it is wrong and foolhardy to believe that Iran can be forever contained.
Many , Pletka informs us, scoff at the notion that a responsible Iranian leader would risk using or transferring nuclear weapons or technology.
We are told that Ahmadinejad - insane as he may be - would not be the final decision maker in any case. But the regime is not known for its transparency; in fact, it is impossible, with its constant shifts of power, to ascertain to any degree who and what is ascending.
If our own intelligence community was so very off in its predictions to Ahmadinejad's reaction to Obama , thinking he would love to engage in discourse when the opposite turned out to be true, then it seems safe to conclude with Pletka that " no one knows whose finger will be on Iran's nuclear trigger.".
Advocates of containment and deterrence suggest that Iran will be encircled by a "like-minded group" of nations bent on raising the costs of adventurism. This absurd notion rests on weak reeds in Europe and Arabs deeply hesitant to act. And who can blame the neighboring Arabs? Egged on by distant powers to cut Iranian access to banking and shipping, they suspect they will be hung out to dry by the next world leader eyeing a Nobel Peace Prize.
Worse, the common notion of deterrence is ill-designed for the regime in Tehran. Perhaps it is unfair to suggest that today's Iranian leadership is fashioned from different cloth than the Soviets; after all, we are often reminded that the doctrine of mutually assured destruction worked with the Soviet Union for half a century. But even the most ardent hawks have serious doubts about U.S. resolve to "totally obliterate" Iran in the event of a nuclear attack on, say, Israel -- despite Hillary Clinton's threat, as a presidential candidate, to do just that. Rather, most see the usual hemming and hawing about "certainty," "provocations" and "escalation" as the far more likely rhetoric should such an event occur. And if we in Washington see it that way, why would the Iranians think differently?
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